Witnesses Report Possible Loss Of Power On Takeoff
A Czechoslovakian-made Aero L-29 Delfin crashed shortly after
takeoff Sunday morning in Millville, NJ. The Cold War-era jet
trainer went down in a wooded area a half-mile northwest of the
Millville Municipal Airport, according to FAA spokeswoman Holly
The aircraft (type shown below) departed MIV at 0800 local time,
and went down shortly after. Pilot William Crean, 65, and passenger
Fredrick Gault, 57, were killed, according to The Star-Ledger.
Jim Salmon, a spokesman for the Delaware River and Bay Authority
which leases and manages the airport spoke to witnesses at the
According to their reports he summarized, "once airborne, the
aircraft's engine went silent, and the aircraft subsequently
descended into a forested area."
The wreckage was difficult for rescue workers to find and even
more difficult for them to reach.
"There's no roadways back into the area where the plane is. So
at this point, they had to have a bulldozer cut a road back in
there, almost a mile into the woods," said Sgt. Stephen Jones of
New Jersey State Police.
The region had a forecast of heavy showers and high winds in
effect however Salmon said conditions were favorable for flying
when the aircraft took off. "There wasn't too much wind. It was
sunny, a little hazy," he said. "You could fly in it."
Authorities said cause of the crash is under investigation. The
National Transportation Safety Board will lead an investigation
assisted by State Police in New Jersey, along with the FAA.